Now that we’ve hit mid-summer and have a few outdoor parties under our belts, we decided it was time to revamp the traditional barbecue menu and try something new. And who better to help us than restaurateur Donatella Arpaia? The culinary wizard and television personality has masterminded numerous restaurant menus and authored a cookbook, so she knows her way around the kitchen — and grill. “I like to incorporate things you wouldn’t think of when barbecuing, but still keep it simple and rustic,” she says. Her menu is focused on lighter and healthier options (and is a far cry from the typical hot dog and hamburger routine).
“For the tabletop decor, I choose a seasonal color – turquoise in this case – and supplement it with a pop color like orchid, and rustic elements,” she says. The mix builds on the casual vibes she tries to impart at her gatherings. “I want everybody to feel at home and relaxed, and being outdoors naturally helps with that.”